Friday, June 26, 2009

Everything Old Is New Again

More new patterns!

This time from Selmalee's Vintage on eBay. (She's got an etsy store too.) These are from the 60s and 70s but I see earlier eras in them, for sure.

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The 60s shift dress is not my best look, I know. I am a short and chunky hourglass so I need things to FIT. That said, I think Simplicity 6004 might be a good potential Gatsby dress. If it was longer and made of silk or jersey, maybe? Imagine it with a little cloche hat and t-strap shoes... It might be just 20s enough.

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Simplicity 5803, I think, has a late 30s/early 40s look. View 1 would make a nice bodice for a 30's style shirtwaist dress if I frankensteined with the long version of my TAT pencil skirt pattern. Its those gorgeous flutter sleeves that make me think '30s. They are murder! Murder, I say!

View 2 will replace a beloved blouse I bought years ago at H&M specifically for its vintage styling. Finding a similar pattern beats the heck out of trying to take it apart and copy it! This pattern would be better if it had a collar but I think its close enough to work as a replacement. I wonder how hard it is to make/install a shirt collar...?

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Simplicity 5112 also looks 30s/40s to me. I think it could easily work as part of a lounge set. I'd make it in a tropical print with either shorts or a slim wrap skirt to match. Or, it would be cute in shiny creme or navy satin paired with matching wide legged trousers, or in crisp white cotton with red or blue sailor pants.

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Its so fun to imagine what one could do with newly purchased patterns. I think at this point I could sew for a zillion years and still not use every pattern in my stash. Even so, I love to fantasize about what to do with the new ones. The fantasizing is as much fun as the sewing, especially when you can see so many past style influences in each relatively modern piece.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Home Dec II

After our success with recovering the dining room chairs, I decided it was time to do something about our hideous bed. My husband bought a modern farmhouse style bed from Craigslist about a year before we got married. I hated it and was hoping it would go away when we combined our possessions but it was not to be.

When we moved in together we needed a new mattress because mine was too short for him and his was like sleeping in a bowl of pudding. (I prefer to sleep on something a great deal harder than pudding.) The larger mattress was, sadly, too big to fit with my (gorgeous, family heirloom, mid-century modern) headboard and since we spent a zillion dollars on the mattress, it didn’t make sense to buy a new bed right away. So we kept his and I silently hated it until I figured out how to make it less ugly.

Here is the before photo so you can see what I mean.

It’s bright and cheerful and piney. It’s also killing my soul with its perkiness and complete lack of character. I wanted something much darker and more modern. I wanted to cast the country farmhouse demons out of my bedroom. We decided that the fastest and easiest way to do that would be with dark brown paint and a padded headboard.

I realize that home décor is much more interesting if you take pictures of the process, but I forgot. SORRY! (I will attempt to make up for it by posting way too many "after" pictures.)

Because we are lazy, we decided not to strip the original stain from the bed. Instead we bought a gallon of exterior house paint and had it colored to match the wrapper from a chocolate bar. Exterior latex paint is basically a plastic coating so it sticks better than typical indoor paint. The only prep work we did was clean the dust and grime off of the frame, rub it down with TSP and let it dry for a few hours before we painted. I think we put on two coats of paint (maybe three on the head and foot sections) and let it dry overnight.

Husband went to the local hardware store and had a piece of plywood cut as a backing for the pad. It was cut about an inch smaller all round than the open space in the headboard so that the pad would float. We bought a rectangular piece of scrap foam from a local furniture dealer and used it as padding. I bought one yard of crème colored upholstery fabric with light brown grid pattern from Unfortunately, one yard wasn’t quite long enough so I had to cut the panel it in the center and stitch the ends together to make it work. I probably should have put a line of cording in between the cut ends because it would have looked nicer, but I’m lazy, remember?

Husband used his mad art school skills to stretch the fabric over the foam and staple it to the plywood so that all of the lines were straight. (I'm sure he'd appreciate it if I told you that I made him do it TWICE because the first time the center line was off my about 1/4 of an inch and was driving me crazy. He is a good man.) Once the cover was stapled on, he simply screwed it to the original headboard. I think you’ll agree that the new bed is a vast improvement!

Here it is “styled.” (Which means I moved all the dirty clothes and cat toys to the floor.)

Here is a closer look at the headboard.

And here’s an even closer one so you can see my lovely seam down the center.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

New Pattern - Headgear

Yeah, its ugly, but I think I want to learn how to make hats. An ugly but simple pattern seems like a good place to start. Right? Vintage hat patterns seem to be as rare as hen's teeth these days. (I have one or two but I'm afraid to cut them.) If I ruin this one, it's no big deal ... so I bought it.

It looked less ugly on EBay, I swear. But I still plan to make it. I don't have any appropriate fabric in the stash but the next time I go to Joann, I'll look for something cute and stretchy/fleecy. Probably not leopard though.

Someday, I'd like to learn to make stiff hats with buckram frames or straw bodies. SCARY! Anyone out there routinely make hats? Any tips and tricks? What is the best way to start? Know of any good hat blogs?

Friday, June 5, 2009

More Fabric

I was all set to start sewing from my stash, but I needed to get some boning for a bodice. It was a Sunday so my usual fabric store was closed. That meant a trip to Joanne’s ... where I bought 8 more yards of fabric. The Tutti Frutti seersucker was on sale for 1.99/yard. I was unable to pass it up. I blame Joanne's.

I bought this lime stripe.

And this blue dot.

Yep: More sundresses to be worn in the cold and wet of Fogville. When will I ever learn?

Here is some tutti frutti music for your listening pleasure.

Little Richard
Pat Boone